Dec 22, 2008

I miss them already...

My three little monkeys are out of school for the remainder of the year. I on the other hand still have to work. So they are going to play ping pong between family for the next few days. We were at Mindy's parent's house to open gifts with them this Saturday. As always the kids loved every minute of it. They were even pointing out familiar CHRISTmas decorations on the way. I imagined myself arguing with Mindy over the radio station...cause that's what we did. She would be tired of hearing me sing CHRISTmas music. But seeing her parents always refreshes my memories of her there. They always have a real CHRISTmas tree and it smelled so wonderful.

The next day after church we headed over to my grandparents to open gifts with my Dad's side of our family. I made sure to taste test all the treats that were being made. The monkeys were playing video games and watching DVD's. My almost teenager tried to spend the whole day on the computer, but once she was involved with everyone else she had a great time. Princess got her favorite toys (which is any one that she opens), and Sugarbear got some legos to keep his mind busy. He's like me in that he is always thinking about building/making things. I hope I can get him to be better at actually building/making them.

When it was all done, I had the weirdest feeling; I wasn't ready to leave...but I didn't want to stay. I can't really explain it any better than that, sorry. The kids spent the night there, cause I had to get back to the J-O-B. I wish I could bring them to work with me. I really hate to be without them, even though it will only be for two days. I feel like everyday with them right now is so crucial. Next week I will be away from the office all week. I hope I can spend some real time with them...just us, before we have to enter back into the world. Here's to all the parents out there spending time with your children. You are the everyday heroes that make your child's world spin. Keep filling them up, and they will return the favor many times over. May God's grace find you all and keep you safe.

Merry CHRISTmas!

Dec 19, 2008

The CHRISTmas shopping is done!

I finished my shopping last night. Now I can put the focus on the real reason for CHRISTmas for the next whole week. I think I'll read Luke 2 to the kids on CHRISTmas eve. I know a lot of people do that every year and it sounds like a great way to anchor the season in reality.

I think I bought too much for the kids for CHRISTmas. I used to comment on how much Mindy would buy them every year and now that it's all on me I've done the same thing. In my defense some of what I bought I've set aside for birthdays and such. I was just in a shopping mode and kept finding things I knew they would really like. But I think as long as they understand that the gifts are not the reason for, or even the highlight of CHRISTmas it should be okay.

Now I can relax. The shopping is done. The giving will begin in a few days and that's my favorite part. Watching the kids faces as they open their gifts. But best of all is no more shopping. Did I mention that I'm done shopping.

Dec 16, 2008

CHRISTmas with Momma

I've been planning on taking the kids out to see Mindy and decorate her site for CHRISTmas. But the weatherman said it's supposed to rain the rest of the week. So yesterday I left work at the earliest possible second and raced home. I wanted to get the kids out to see Mindy before dark. We rushed and rushed and the sun had just gone down when we got there. It looks darker in these pictures than it really was...but at least we got it done.

This should be the first in a long line of CHRISTmas visitations to decorate and remember. It was 32 outside with the wind chill it felt like 15. So we didn't stay very long. But I accomplished what I meant to do, start a new tradition with the kids that is simple, memorable, and incorporates Mindy. I know I'll look forward to the event every year, I feel certain that my beautiful children will as well. These pictures were taken later, with better light.

Dec 15, 2008

White Rock Relay - Completed

Well as I stated in my last post, I'm horrible about procrastination. I had plenty of time to run before the White Rock Marathon Relay...but I didn't. Not one single step. But I had a blast anyway. I had the second leg of the relay...downhill, with the wind at my back, and only 4 miles. I managed to keep close to a 10mi/min pace despite not having run since the end of July.

This picture was taken near the start of the fourth leg. Our third leg runner was still finishing up and she did a knock out job. She had the wind in her face most of the way around the lake and kept up a pretty quick pace. I wish I had the actual figures to post. From left to right we have me, my brother who started us off, our fourth leg who had to fight the hills, and our closer who brought us in for a finish under 4hrs. It was a blast, I look forward to it next year...except that I'll actually train so I can be more competitive.

Dec 11, 2008

All I want for CHRISTmas is you

Princess and I were listening to "All I want for Christmas is you" by Vince Vance and the Valiants in the car the other day on the way back home. I was singing along with the radio...she was singing along with me. Laughing the whole time. We were having a great time and it was one of those time where you think...I'll remember this for the rest of my life.

Not a week later, I was in the car on my way home from the J-O-B and the song played again ('cause it's that time of year). It wasn't until the song was almost over that I realized the memory I attached to the song was not that of Princess and I singing in the car, but of Christmas' past that were spent at home with Mindy. It wasn't until then that I realized the weight of spending Christmas without her. She is the angel atop my tree, She was my dream come true. Santa can't bring me what I need. 'Cause all I want for Christmas...

And this week has been so hectic and busy that I haven't been able to do much of anything. I have a good friend that has been on me to simply make a phone call. But by the time I get the kids settled in bed and prepare for the next day, I turn around and it's midnight. Who has time for conversation? I think that may be part of my stress, missing all the little things Mindy always took care of for us. So next week I'm going to put decorations at her grave site. I wanted to have it done already, but that's how it's been. It will be the most beautiful site in the whole lot! But I guess that's a photo for another post. Remember all your blessings in life, and find new creative ways to glorify God for putting them there.

Dec 9, 2008

Snaggle tooth

I almost forgot to post Sugarbear's latest picture. He lost his tooth in the middle of the night and brought it to me. Mornings are usually very busy so I didn't get his picture until we dropped off Princess for her dance class. He was very excited that he lost another tooth, so now both his front teeth are permanent.

Well, one anyway. The other is still on its way in.

Dec 8, 2008

CHRISTmas is almost here!

I'm so anxious, and very nervous about CHRISTmas this year. I want this to be a special year for the kids. Something that will help solidify all the great memories they have of CHRISTmas' past, with Mindy. I'm also intent on starting a new, fairly simple tradition we can do each year that they kids can look forward to.

I thought of maybe taking candles to Mindy on CHRISTmas eve. But what if they won't stay lit? So I thought what about leaving a rose from each child for Mindy. Unfortunately, Mindy was the creative one, she would know exactly what to do. I want so much for the kids to have a great end to a very difficult year. But I'm ready for the year to end.

My oldest is sick again also. We went to the doctor again this morning to confirm, she has strep throat again. At least she'll be done with the antibiotics this week so she should feel good soon. It just hurts me when there is nothing I can do to make them feel better. I wasn't like that before. When the kids were sick, it was Momma's job. She nursed them back to health and loved doing it.

I have no idea why anyone would ever choose to be a single parent, I certainly didn't choose it. And the more time I spend being a single dad the more I'm convinced that God never intended for there to be a single parent home. I'm blessed to have a great support network of friends and family that are always there to help me. But I think more like an older generation, in that I should be able to do this myself. If not I just pray harder for more strength and continue on. But that may also be because I haven't been doing this very long. That's probably apart of the anxiety also. Merry CHRISTmas to you and yours. Make sure you tell your loved ones how much they are loved. It serves them well, and makes you a great imitator of the ultimate servant leader, Christ Jesus.

Dec 6, 2008

His perfect timing

Wow, I just keep getting these little miracles in my life. God's way of letting me know that I'm not in this alone. I told you all previously that I had instances of God's presence in my life. Well today I got another such blessing.

I did not take care when planning my finances this month. I am usually fairly decent at this but I've been a neglect steward the last few months. Well, I found myself in a position where I had to either ask for money, or be broke. I decided to do neither. I put the concern in the hands of God.

I knew I had a check coming to me, just not when. So I prayed that God would deliver that check before I needed the money. Well, the check I was expecting hasn't come. But wouldn't you know that I got an unexpected refund from court fees that I paid an attorney months ago. Now, had I gotten the check that I was expecting discerning minds could say that it was just coincidence. But God sent me a check from an unexpected source and to me it's indisputable that it was His will at work. Now the amount was not enormous, but it was just enough to cover my mistakes and answer my prayers.

I also have a new found conviction to build back my savings and return to my budget before I get myself in real trouble. And in the last few months I've had doubts about continuing my tithe. But no longer. It's all God's money, he chooses where to place it. He's asked that I give my tithe to the church, so there's nothing to doubt there...give the tithe to the church. I hope your weekend was filled with everyday blessings as mine has been.